Article

What does a Medical Support Assistant do?

Learn all about Medical Support Assistant duties, skills and much more. Get expert advice on how to become a Medical Support Assistant.

Photo of Brenna Goyette
Brenna Goyette
Certified Professional Resume Writer, Career Expert

Published 4 min read

A medical support assistant is a professional who provides administrative and clerical support to doctors and other medical staff in a healthcare setting. They are responsible for tasks such as scheduling appointments, maintaining medical records, billing and coding patients' insurance information, and ordering medical supplies. Medical support assistants must be able to multitask and have excellent communication and customer service skills.

Medical Support Assistant job duties include:

  • Answer incoming calls and assume callers’ needs
  • Schedule appointments for patients
  • Greet patients upon arrival and escort them to the examination room
  • Prepare patients for examination by performing preliminary physical tests
  • Assist the physician during the examination
  • Collect and record patient’s medical history and vital statistics
  • Draw blood and collect urine samples for laboratory analysis
  • Authorize prescription refills and provide patients with referrals to specialists
  • Perform routine office duties such as filing, typing, and answering the telephone

Medical Support Assistant Job Requirements

A medical support assistant typically has a high school diploma or equivalent, although some jobs may require postsecondary education, and must complete on-the-job training. Some medical support assistants may become certified through professional organizations such as the National Healthcare Association. Certification is not required for all positions, but it may give job seekers a competitive edge. Medical support assistants typically have previous experience working in a medical office or other healthcare setting.

Medical Support Assistant Skills

  • Answering phones
  • Scheduling appointments
  • Greeting patients
  • Updating medical records
  • Billing and insurance
  • Collecting lab specimens
  • Preparing patients for exams
  • Assisting with procedures
  • Injections
  • Vital signs
  • Patient education

Related: Top Medical Support Assistant Skills: Definition and Examples

How to become a Medical Support Assistant

A medical support assistant (MSA) is a health care professional who provides administrative and clinical support to physicians and other health care providers. MSAs are also known as medical assistants, medical office assistants, or health care office assistants.

The duties of an MSA can vary depending on the size and type of medical practice, but generally include scheduling appointments, verifying insurance coverage, maintaining medical records, handling billing and coding information, and providing customer service. In larger practices, MSAs may also be responsible for more complex tasks such as conducting patient interviews, performing diagnostic tests, and assisting with minor surgical procedures.

MSAs must have strong communication and organizational skills, as well as the ability to multitask and handle a variety of tasks simultaneously. They must also be able to work well under pressure and maintain a calm demeanor in fast-paced environments. Many MSAs have previous experience working in customer service or administrative roles.

While there is no formal education requirement to become an MSA, many employers prefer candidates who have completed a postsecondary medical assistant program. These programs typically last one year and include coursework in anatomy, physiology, medical terminology, office procedures, and computer applications. Some programs also include an externship component that allows students to gain hands-on experience in a medical setting.

Related: Medical Support Assistant Resume Example

Related: Medical Support Assistant Interview Questions (With Example Answers)